Natural Gas Trade Group Jumps on Information-Sharing Train
Following similar moves in other industries, the American Gas Association recently launched the Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center, an effort to make data on security threats available to its members.
The drumbeat for information sharing is a steady one in associations, and recently it’s been growing stronger for collaboration on cyber threats, particularly in the retail, technology, and financial sectors. Now the natural gas industry is joining the effort.
Last month, the American Gas Association (AGA) launched its own threat communication system, the Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center, offering members a way to share information about relevant threats to the nation’s energy supply, be they physical or viral in nature.
The center (tagged with the clunky acronym DNG ISAC) is being funded by industry members that focus only on natural gas. The goal is to provide member companies a central hub of data on the many parts of the distribution pipeline in order to help secure that infrastructure.
“Information-sharing is a fundamental pillar of a robust cyber and physical defense effort,” AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy said in a statement. “The DNG ISAC is tailored to address the distinct operational needs of the downstream natural gas sector and provides the technological sophistication and coordination necessary to meet the ever-changing threats of the 21st century.”
AGA has long-term goals for the project, according to Natural Gas Intelligence: The group eventually hopes to tie DNG ISAC into the Electric Subsector ISAC, which is already used by companies that supply combination gas and electric utilities.
“As planned, the DNG-ISAC and the ES-ISAC are strategically working towards an integrated threat collaboration platform whereby the companies participating in the ES-ISAC may gain access to the information in the DNG-ISAC and vice-versa,” AGA Director of Engineering Services Kimberly Denbow said. “We see this as a significant benefit to both ISACs, since it will expand the user communities’ situational awareness.”
AGA represents more than 200 local energy companies covering more than 68 million natural gas customers nationwide.